Feast upon the Word Blog

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The Time of Sin

Posted by joespencer on August 23, 2011

I assume we’re all familiar with the sermon Samuel the Lamanite delivers to Zarahemla in Helaman 13-15. I’ve been revisiting it this past week or two, and I’ve been struck by what is in that sermon (and the preface of sorts in Helaman 12) a near obsession with temporality. I want to write out some of my thoughts on chapter 13 in particular, because it seems to me that there Samuel outlines an implicit theory of the temporality of sin. I think there is much to learn here about sin and repentance….

Present and Future

The first part of Samuel’s sermon is dedicated to a double articulation of the relationship sin sets up between the (sinful) present and the (disastrous) future. From the very first verse of his actual words: “[The Lord] hath put it into my heart to say unto this people that the sword of justice hangeth over this people; and four hundred years pass not away save the sword of justice falleth upon this people” (13:5). This is taken further a few verses later: “Yea, I will visit them in my fierce anger, and there shall be those of the fourth generation who shall live, of your enemies, to behold your utter destruction; and this shall surely come except ye repent, saith the Lord; and those of the fourth generation shall visit your destruction” (13:10). A first point: the present of sin—which takes the shape, according to verses 6-7, of an unapologetic rejection of the “glad tidings” regarding “the Lord Jesus Christ, who surely shall come into the world,” etc.—organizes a future of absolute disaster. That is hardly surprising, since we’re used to the idea that sin yields judgment.

Crucial, moreover, is the fact that the disaster is postponed only “because of those who are righteous” who remain in the city (13:12), that is, that “it is for the righteous’ sake that [the city] is spared” (13:14). This detail seems to form a critical part of the temporal logic here: abomination indeed characterizes the present, but disaster is postponed into the future because the wickedness of the present is not absolute. Sin organizes a disaster, but it does so slowly because it only eventually comes to “the time . . . when [the wicked] shall cast out the righteous from among [them]” (13:14). It is that time, still to come, in which the disaster of sin comes fully to fruition; the present of sin is only what begins to organize that disaster. And if the present of sin is not reversed—repentance—then that disaster will come without fail. But nothing here is particularly surprising yet.

Samuel goes on to set up this same logic a second time, but now in terms of a curse, rather than a destruction: “a curse shall come upon the land . . . because of the peoples’ sake who are upon the land, yea, because of their wickedness and their abominations” (13:17). This curse is, quite famously, the curse associated with hidden treasures: “whoso shall hide up treasures in the earth shall find them again no more” (13:18). Here again it is a question of the present of sin entailing a future judgment, but now social apocalypse is replaced with economic apocalypse: “cursed is . . . the treasure, and none shall redeem it because of the curse of the land” (13:19). Of course, the two apocalypses are not unrelated. Verse 20 makes this clear: “And the day shall come that they shall hide up their treasures, because they have set their hearts upon riches; and because they have set their hearts upon their riches, and will hide up their treasures when they shall flee before their enemies; because they will not hide them up unto me, cursed be they and also their treasures; and in that day shall they be smitten, saith the Lord.” Note what is happening in this verse: (1) the wicked hide their treasures up because they are afraid to lose them; (2) the wicked hide up their treasures specifically when they are threatened by attack from enemies, in the course of some at least quasi-apocalyptic event; (3) the Lord promises that the wicked who hide their treasures for these reasons will “be smitten,” that is, will not escape from their enemies—apparently precisely because of their relationship to their treasures.

Here again is the present-entails-future-disaster pattern: the present of sin leads inexorably to the disastrous future, unless the present is characterized by strict repentance. But here again there is nothing particularly surprising. We are quite accustomed to thinking about the way that the present of sin—unless it is altered by a turn to repentance—organizes a disastrous future. The brilliance of Samuel’s discourse begins in verse 24.

Present and Past

Verse 24 opens with an isolation of “this time”: “Yea, wo unto this people, because of this time which has arrived.” What characterizes the present? Simply this: “that ye do cast out the prophets, and do mock them, and cast stones at them, and do slay them, and do all manner of iniquity unto them, even as they did of old time.” What characterizes the present (which in turn organizes the disaster of the future) is its constitutive relation to the past. Stated thus, there seems to be nothing surprising about Samuel’s claim. But note that this relationship between the present and the past is quite distinct from the relationship between the present and the future. The present organizes the future’s disaster causally, entailing a certain outcome if the present does not change radically. The present, however, is not causally produced by the past on Samuel’s account. The present sustains a rather different relationship to the past, one that needs to be clarified. In verse 24, we only learn that Samuel wants to draw a parallel between the present and the past: the present folk in Zarahemla are “as they . . . of old time” in their murder of the prophets.

Verse 25: “And now when ye talk, ye say: If our days had been in the days of our fathers of old, we would not have slain the prophets; we would not have stoned them, and cast them out.” Here the relationship between present and past begins to be clarified, and a single word might well describe it: ideological. The present of sin is related to the past through its denial of an identification with the past, when it turns out that the present is, actually, identical to the past. Thus though Samuel introduces the comparison between present and past in verse 24, it is actually the people of Zarahemla who first—before Samuel—draw the comparison, as Samuel reports in verse 25; Samuel has to talk about the comparison because the people of Zarahemla talk about it, and they talk about it incorrectly, ideologically. What thus constitutes the present of sin—and therefore entails a future of disaster—is the present’s ideological relationship to the past, a denial of any identification of the present with an admittedly sinful past.

Now, when the identification of the present and the past (both these and those folks performed the same action: killing the prophets) is coupled with the ideology of the present (these folks deny that they are identical to those of the past), the result is that the present is worse than the past: “Behold ye are worse than they”! The ideological relationship to the past makes the present worse than the past. The implication is that the past generations were at least authentic about their killing of the prophets, recognizing what they were doing, while the present generation gives itself no idea of what they are doing. Samuel’s famous description of the Nephite relationship to the prophets in his day follows: if a prophet comes to them, telling them to repent, they declare him “a false prophet,” a “sinner,” and “of the devil,” while if “a man” comes with no word concerning repentance, they “will receive him, and say that he is a prophet,” lavishing him with gifts and money (13:26-28).

If the present of sin causally organizes the future disaster (13:5-23), the present of sin itself is a question of an ideological relation to (an ideological disavowal of) a wicked past (13:24-28). What ultimately organizes the future disaster, in other words, is precisely the present’s constitutive relationship to the past; what makes the future a question of unmitigated disaster—destructions and curses—is the fact that the present orders itself through a problematic orientation to the past. The present of sin obsessively compares itself with the past in order to assure itself that it differs from the past, thus failing to recognize its essential identification with the past. Sin alone—which characterized the past—is, it seems, not enough to organize a disaster in the future. Simple sin, sin that attends only to its business in the present, is as it were atemporal. Sin opens a future, a horrifying future, only when it justifies itself through a disavowal of the past, only when it attempts to ground itself by pretending to break with the past of sin. Sin, it might be said, becomes really dangerous when it masquerades as repentance.

We thus have here an important clarification of the temporality of sin. Sin in its deepest sense, in its most sinful sense, organizes a past as much as a future. It organizes a past with which it pretends to break even as it continues to performs the very actions it thus disavows, and it thus (and apparently only thus) organizes a future of destruction. But this observation is only the beginning. The remainder of Helaman 13 details still more about the temporality of sin, building on the framework thus far established.

The Temporality of Sin

So soon as the present-and-past orientation is worked out as the backdrop of the present-and-future orientation, Samuel asks three questions, all poignantly constructed through an iteration of the phrase “how long?”: “O ye wicked and ye perverse generation; ye hardened and ye stiffnecked people, how long will ye suppose that the Lord will suffer you? Yea, how long will ye suffer yourselves to be led by foolish and blind guides? Yea, how long will ye choose darkness rather than light?” (13:29). The triple repetition of the “how long?” question is vital. It returns with rhetorical force from the present/past entanglement to the present/future entanglement, but precisely in order to force Samuel’s listeners to grapple with the relationship between those two entanglements. The extreme sinfulness of the one relation (present/past) so powerfully calls for the extreme consequences of the other (present/future) that it is possible—indeed, necessary—to ask how long it is possible to go on like this, in a direction it is impossible to follow (Samuel will speak of impossibility in verse 38).

This triple “how long” is balanced in verse 30 with a curious “already”: “Yea, behold, the anger of the Lord is already kindled against you; behold, he hath cursed the land because of your iniquity.” There are several ways this “already” can be understood. First, it lends a sense of real urgency to the triple “how long” of the preceding verse: the time for repentance cannot be delayed much longer if God’s anger is already kindled. (Here, “how long?” is taken as “how long until you will repent?”) At the same time, though, the “already” inflects the triple “how long” with a kind of futility: if God’s anger is already kindled, perhaps there is little hope that repentance will do any good. (Here, “how long?” is taken as “how long will God wait to destroy you?”) Either way, the “already” gives some teeth to the “how long.” If God’s response to the people’s wickedness is already underway, then it is necessary to ask how long that wickedness will or can continue. The “how long” is no mere rhetorical gesture, nor is it an expression merely of Samuel’s longing for the people to change. Change has become an absolute expediency, and the time is short.

As a result, the next verses return to the relationship between present and future, but with a twist. In the first part of the chapter, as detailed above, the future was anticipated from the position of the present. Now, however, Samuel speaks of how the present will look from the position of the future. It isn’t difficult to see why this twist is introduced into the discussion: with the “already” and the therefore poignant triple “how long,” the present is quickly giving way to the future, from which vantage point the present can now be reinvestigated—and it won’t be pretty. Interestingly, Samuel now gives to the present and the future titles, drawn from the discussion of the curse on the land: the future he calls “the days of your poverty,” and the present (looked back on from the future) he calls “the day that [God] gave [you your] riches.”

And what will the present look like from the unfortunate future? “And in the days of your poverty ye shall cry unto the Lord; and in vain shall ye cry, for your desolation is already come upon you, and your destruction is made sure; and then shall ye weep and howl in that day, saith the Lord of Hosts. And then shall ye lament and say: O that I had repented, and had not killed the prophets, and stoned them, and cast them out. Yea, in that day ye shall say: O that we had remembered the Lord our God in the day that he gave us our riches, and then they would not have become slippery that we should lose them; for behold, our riches are gone from us” (13:32-33). I’ve italicized here all the temporal terms, most of which are no surprise at this point: “the days of your poverty,” “already,” “that day,” “the day that he gave us our riches,” etc. But a crucial word here might too easily be overlooked: “remembered.” Note that a major part of the future reflection on the present will be a wish that in the then-past present one had remembered—in other words, that the present had been constituted by a different kind of relationship to the past. If the bulk of Helaman 13 is, as I have worked out in detail in the first two parts of this post, a reflection on how the ideological relationship between the present and the past entails a present that must anticipate a destructive future, here we find an explicit recognition of what kind of present/past relationship would forestall such an unfortunate present/future: remembrance. The point is not developed here, so I won’t develop it further, but it deserves extended attention.

In verse 34, Samuel continues his quotation of what the people will say “in that day,” and the way it clarifies all this temporal business is quite crucial: “Behold, we lay a tool here and on the morrow it is gone; and behold, our swords are taken from us in the day we have sought them for battle.” At first, this looks like a simple explanation of how slippery property will have become. But note the emphasis even here on the temporal: “on the morrow,” “in the day.” The future calamity, rather suddenly, is described as a kind of collapse of temporality, or at least of temporality as an experience of the continuity of objects in space. If one lays a tool in a specific place, “on the morrow it is gone.” And “swords are taken from us in the day we have sought them for battle.” Nothing stays put, and temporality no longer holds the world together. The future of destruction is not only a physical destruction (fire from heaven and the like), but a kind of stopping of time, or a time gone out of joint. Time will cease to work, such that the future will be characterized by a kind of loss of time.

Once that is experienced, the people themselves will revise the name they use to refer to the past present: “O that we had repented in,” not, as before, the day that God gave us our riches, but “the day that the word of the Lord came unto us” (13:36). Now the present lamented as past in the future becomes the day of the prophet, the day that God spoke, the day in which repentance was a real possibility. Only from the eventual and terribly unfortunate perspective of a collapsed temporality will what is the present of Samuel’s discourse finally be recognized as “the day that the word of the Lord” is delivered to the people. And so the people will finally recognize that their destruction is less a question of lost riches than of lost righteousness: “we are surrounded by demons,” etc. (13:37).

Finally, in the last verses of the chapter, Samuel turns from “that day” to “those days,” pluralizing his future reference. This begins at the end of verse 37: “And this shall be your language in those days.” But it is more poignant in verse 38: because the people will have “procrastinated the day [singular] of [their] salvation until it is everlastingly too late,” Samuel can say that “[their] days [plural] of probation are past.” Note, by the way, the whole series of temporal terms in that condemnation: procrastination, the day of salvation, everlastingly, “too late,” and so on. At any rate, that breaking point, after which repentance is no longer a real possibility, is marked as end because it allows Samuel to speak of the people’s lives as having been completed at that point: “your destruction is made sure; yea, for ye have sought all the days of your lives for that which ye could not obtain” (13:37). With the collapse of temporality comes the end of the people’s days, and it is thus possible to speak of “all the days of their lives” as a collective totality.

Provocatively, what has filled the people’s days—what characterizes “all the days of their lives”—is an impossible quest. Ultimately, then, what is being unfolded in this chapter as a whole is a description of the temporality of that impossible quest. I have called it the temporality of sin, but at this late point in the chapter we have a finer point put on what is meant here by sin. What the people have sought “all the days of their lives” is this: “ye have sought all the days of your lives for that which ye could not obtain; and ye have sought for happiness in doing iniquity, which thing is contrary to the nature of that righteousness which is in our great and Eternal Head” (13:38). Sin—or at least the kind of sin that opens up the temporality worked out in this chapter—is the quest for happiness in pursuing wickedness. Sin here is not just wickedness, wicked actions, etc. Sin is a question of pursuing wickedness in order to be happy. This, it would seem, is at the root of the ideology described in the second part of this post: the problematic relation between the present and the past that holds among the people of Zarahemla is rooted in the will to find happiness in wickedness. If one dwells in sin, believing that happiness is to be found in wickedness, then one ideologically reconstructs the past in order to make the present appear to be a time of righteousness when it is nothing but a repetition of the wicked past. Put another way, if one believes that happiness is to be found in wickedness, one forgets, one ceases to remember. And remembrance is what one eventually recognizes one should have been doing in the then-foreclosed present.

How do we rupture the time of sin? It seems it is necessary to remember. But remembrance is another topic entirely, one for another time.

18 Responses to “The Time of Sin”

  1. Roberta said

    Very thought-provoking. I was engaged all the way to the last sentence, and then propelled into deeper thought because I have been riveted on the frequency of the command to “remember” in the scriptures. To remember everything and to not forget the slightest good thing, past or present; with the act of remembering as the key to future spiritual achievement and success. And then you write this….

  2. Joe, this is very thought-provoking, but, unfortunately, the mind you provoked seems incapable of an equally thoughtful reply.

    But, here’s a crazy idea–what if Samuel and his audience have some slightly different ideas about time? Could there be other notions of time at play here? Could those ideas about time be echoed elsewhere in the text? Are their other textual or historical precedents for those ideas? This occurred to me because of my work on Eliot’s The Wasteland. I’m not sure that those sort of philosophical or historical or anthropological issues interest you, but this post certainly seems to open up such a line of inquiry.

  3. joespencer said

    Roberta, I’m curious to hear your thoughts on remembrance. It is a major theme in the first chapter of my finally actually forthcoming book….

    Shawn, I’ve actually been developing thoughts along similar lines. The entirety of Samuel’s discourse is heavily focused on time, though not always on the time of sin: signs dealing with certain periods of time, etc. And then the chapter preceding Samuel’s appearance (Helaman 12) is where we find Mormon’s discussion of the earth being turned back, etc., because it is clearly the earth that moves and not the sun. A larger project here would like at all the discussions of time in the last part of Helaman to see if there are hints that there are different conceptions of time at work in the text, some perhaps attributable to the Nephites and others to the Lamanites, or some perhaps attributable to the believers and others to the nonbelievers, or…. So yes, I’m intrigued and thinking about those same kinds of questions.

  4. robf said

    On the one hand, the concept of “days” seems to be very important in several places in the Book of Mormon (eg. cited 3 times alone in 1 Nephi 1). But this does make me wonder, is Samuel the Lamanite a Daykeeper? In Maya and other Mesoamerican calendar systems, each day has its own diety and character and opportunities, etc. and a Daykeeper tracks those and is able to make predictions and offer counsel based on the characteristics of the days involved. The 400 year prediction of Samuel the Lamanite has already been seen by some as a reference to the 400 year period Baktun in Mayan calendars. Regardless of whether we can find more evidence that Samuel the Lamanite was a Daykeeper or not, there is a good chance that the calendar system and sense of time in his culture is playing a bigger part in his thinking than we may be recognizing in our Western view of time with “days” as essentially equal and interchangeable units of measure.

  5. robf said

    As far as the temporality of sin, or remembrance, or repentance…a lot to contemplate here. A big part of our mortal existence seems to relate to how we orient ourselves to the past and future–going back, Joe, to your podcasts about faith, hope, and charity–will we remember and exercise faith in what has already been revealed in order to have hope (in the future) for what has been promised? In many ways this orientation may be THE principle characteristic of mortality,and the key to our mortal probation. Here in mortality, separated from a clear view of the past and future (unlike God), we constantly have to create ties to the past and future. Here Samuel the Lamanite is hightlighting how that can go terribly wrong, as you’ve shown. Again, lots to think about!

  6. Oh, and, speaking of Sammy and time (can I call him that?), the sword hanging over their heads seems to have this strange temporal displacement, as it seems to be the sword that would fall at the end of 4th Nephi. Does that displacement seem to be in the text, or am I just reading it oddly?

  7. kirkcaudle said

    As always, very thought provoking Joe! Allow me to make a few comments and pose a question.

    You quote v26 as, “Behold ye are worse than they”! At which point, you go onto say that, “The ideological relationship to the past makes the present worse than the past. The implication is that the past generations were at least authentic about their killing of the prophets, recognizing what they were doing, while the present generation gives itself no idea of what they are doing.” When I first read this, I really loved it. However, then I started thinking a little more about the connotations of this being true.

    For example, what does this say about a person such as Cain? Could we say that Cain was the most “authentic” murder of all time? If I go out and kill someone tomorrow (not anyone on this blog of course) I could imagine hearing Samuel in my ear saying, “you are worse than they.” But am I? Am I a less authentic murderer than Cain just because I read his story in the Bible and had a testimony of the gospel and then rejected that same gospel? Then again, maybe I am missing the point altogether. With that said, I definitely am not disagreeing with Joe’s statement, I am just having trouble processing it in my head. (I am not always as smart as I look).

    Another thing that I need time to think about is the whole idea of the changing/stoppage of time in v34. Fascinating stuff. I am racking my brain for pericopes presented by other prophets with a similar theology.

    Final thought. The line, “Sin. . . becomes really dangerous when it masquerades as repentance” is an outstanding quote. I marked that one down in my scriptures. And of course I gave credit where credit was due.

  8. kirkcaudle said


    This post could probably use one of those “Read the rest of this entry” tags.

  9. joespencer said

    Robf #4 – Very interesting thoughts. I can’t really add to them, but they are interesting.

    Robf #5 – I do think all this has a lot to do with what I was spelling out in those podcasts on faith, hope, and charity. Perhaps there I’ve already begun to spell out the beginning of “remembrance.” Doing a bit of work on Helaman 12 yesterday, I was surprised (or perhaps not surprised) to find out how big a role “remembrance” and “forgetting” play in that chapter. Mormon is doing a bit of anticipatory work there that deserves attention.

    Shawn #6 – In a little longer version of this post (which I cut down to the present one), I discussed that temporal displacement. The destruction Samuel announces is a bit odd, because he predicates it on their present wickedness, but it will actually come only after a few centuries of unmitigated righteousness. What exactly does that connection add up to? Or could it be that he actually learns of the more immediate destruction before Christ and mistakenly associates it with the later destruction, thus erring slightly in his prophecy?

    Kirk #7 – I wonder if you’ve misunderstood me. I’m interpreting the “worse than they” business in the following way. Those of old time killed the prophets because they wanted to kill the prophets. That’s bad. But those of Samuel’s present kill the prophets while ideologically claiming that they would not have killed the prophets had they lived in old time. There is thus a kind of inauthenticity about those of Samuel’s day, who kill while disavowing what they’re doing. I’m claiming that it is that inauthentic murder that is the worse sin. Does that clarify things?

  10. kirkcaudle said


    Yeah, that is what I got out of the article. I am just wondering more about the ramifications of that theological stance for others outside of those referred to by Samuel.

    For example, if an individual is the first to commit a specific act, can that act be anything other than, using your definition? Cain was the first to commit murder. Therefore, he could not have ever been worse than anyone else before him. Samuel could never have told Cain that he was worse than another that came before. What Judas did to Jesus was also unprecedented. I don’t know if either of them could ideologically claim what most other sinners can claim.

    In other words, if those in the time of Samuel were worse than those in the time of Moses, then would it then not hold true that those in the time of Moses were less authentic than Adam’s children? It just seems to me that the first one to commit a certain sin would be the most authentic about committing that given sin.

    If this is true, then Eve partaking of the forbidden fruit was the most authentic action/transgression ever performed by humankind. I actually like that thought quite a bit, but I might still be missing the point here.

  11. Mike B. said

    Samuel’s warning that they would be cry to the Lord in vain sounds similar to Abinadi’s warning. Except Noah’s people are described as slow to remember the Lord their God (Mosiah 13), and so God is slow to hear their cries (Mosiah 21). There are themes here similar to what you’ve shown in Helaman 13. Limhi’s people did receive mercy, albeit slowly, because they remembered, slowly. And of course the emphasis on “slowly” is a temporal issue. And I wonder if perhaps the people in 5 b.c. had Noah killing Abinadi in mind. And if so, what would that say about their connection to the past. Perhaps it would have been better for them if they were a bit MORE like those in their past who slew the prophets, because they did repent and avoided utter destruction.

  12. joespencer said

    Kirk #10 – Ah, I see now what you’re getting at. But I’m not terribly bothered by it. I don’t think Samuel was trying to set up a systematic account of the history of sin, but a kind of phenomenological account of the time of sin. The point is not to emphasize the comparison with the past in some absolute past, but to emphasize the way the present relates to a past it has to falsify in order to establish itself as righteous. So I don’t see the difficulties you’re pointing out following….

    Mike #11 – Interesting thoughts here, on which I’d like to ruminate a bit before I have anything to say in response….

  13. kirkcaudle said

    Yes, at first as I read (you and Samuel) I was seeing a systematic account of sin. However, things are a bit clearer now that I think about them in a phenomenological fashion. And I agree with you. However, even if reality consists in perception/human consciousness then I still think that a case can be made for Eve making the most authentic sinful action in the history of humanity. Perhaps then that is why it is so important?

  14. Mike B said

    I happen to be reading through Adam Miller’s Notes on Life, Grace and Atonement for the first time this weekend, and the bit that I’m struggling to understand is the relationship to the past and the future. He says, “the givenness of life (and, with it, the grace of Christ’s atonement) appears precisely to the degree that the present moment is received as unconditionally imposed without regard to how one arrived there or where one is going. The atonement, as what gives life, is what calls us back to the living grace of the present moment.”

    I can’t figure out if what Samuel is saying agrees or disagrees. Samuel shows the sinfulness of the Nephites’ fixation on their past, but with his warnings of destruction is he inviting them to be more mindful of their future? We Mormons do this all the time. If we find someone who isn’t keeping the commandments, we chalk up to a shortsightedness that doesn’t see beyond the present and we’ll encourage them to consider all the blessings they’ll get for keeping the commandments. Isn’t there an element of that here and elsewhere in the Book of Mormon with the talk of “repent or be destroyed.”

    Also there’s the emphasis on remembrance, a focus on the past. Looking at Hel 12:2-3 (which discusses the sin of these people), it could be interpreted that the problem was their fixation on the present gifts without remembering the past in which they received them. It could also be interpreted that they fixated on the present gifts, but rather than recognizing that they are gifts they instead imagine that in their past they’ve earned these gifts.

    So is the sin of the Nephites here merely the problematic nature of their attention to past and future, or the fact that they are regarding the past and future at all? Could you please speak to these issues?

  15. joespencer said

    Only a moment for a response here tonight, Mike, but I think Samuel and Adam (Samuel Adams?) are fully reconcilable. It is perhaps significant that the remembrance that is to replace sinfulness is a remembrance of God, not a remembrance of a particular past. Perhaps the future comes into play as it does here only because the past is already an obsession (remember that it is the Zarahemla-ites, not Samuel, who first bring up those of old)….

  16. […] complexity. (I analyzed Helaman 13 some time ago in a preliminary way here at Feast—see here—but I’ve recently been reworking these ideas at some length for what I hope will be […]

  17. […] of his sermon a fascinating theology of time and the role it plays in sin. Here’s the link: https://feastuponthewordblog.org/2011/08/23/the-time-of-sin/. I might note that I’ve recently developed these thoughts a bit further in a piece for […]

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